TAPP President Dr. Necmi Sınanmış: “Do not jeopardize your health and the society’s peace on New Year’s Day!”

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Stressing that there is no safe lower limit for alcohol consumption, Turkish Alcohol Policy Platform (TAPP) President Dr. Necmi Sınanmış indicated that alcohol consumption on New Year’s Day with the excitement of entering a new year would push the body beyond limits and lead to health disorders.

TAPP, established with the purpose of ensuring the supervision of alcohol consumption in compliance with contemporary norms, seeks to avoid tragic events attributable to consumption of alcoholic beverages in connection with New Year festivities. TAPP President stated that people should entertain themselves within the framework of love and mutual respect as they enter the New Year. Stressing that there is no safe lower limit for alcohol consumption, Dr. Sınanmış expressed that alcohol consumption on New Year’s Day with the excitement of entering a new year would push the body beyond limits and lead to health disorders as well as to breach of social peace. “We need to refrain from disturbing social peace by consuming alcohol for entertainment purposes,” he said.

Sınanmış maintained that alcohol consumption for pleasure or entertainment purposes is on the ascendancy as the minimum age for starting to consume alcoholic beverages is declining. “The society as a whole should strive to eliminate factors that encourage alcohol consumption and introduce certain regulatory rules and, by doing so, minimize accidents that disrupt social peace, murders, rapes, and violence. This is a responsibility [for us all],” he said. Noting that we need to increase awareness in order to raise sound and respectful generations, Sınanmış stressed: “It is the desire and expectation of the society that we enter the new year without doing harm to our health and without disturbing other people and without leading to social chaos or economic or social injuries, but in a healthy, peaceful and joyful manner.”

“We must hamper the social chaos caused by alcohol”

Sınanmış indicated that their aim is to ensure that all social groups become aware of the public health aspects of alcohol consumption and addiction. “For a humanly and contemporary life, it is essential that we eliminate social chaos, lethargy, anomaly, negative life, diseases, and lack of love attributable to alcohol and that we build a healthy and loving life,” he said. Drawing attention to the fact that certain rules are needed to compensate for the incentive effects of alcohol, Sınanmış argued: “Although the relevant ministry and institutions are working on the matter, there is yet any alcohol policy. For harmonization with the European Union acquis, too, Turkey needs alcohol policies. Actually, European countries tend to introduce the strictest measures when it comes to human and social health and peace although we generally believe them to be more liberal as regards alcohol consumption. The TAPP is the outcome of the need for drafting a bill on alcohol and developing alcohol policies.”

The work for the establishment of the TAPP started in 2013. The TAPP focuses on monitoring and assessment of the production, sale, consumption, advertising, and promotion of alcoholic beverages as well as on alcohol addiction.

The TAPP has 50 member organizations which include not only health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Turkish Green Crescent Society, the Public Health Specialists Association, the Turkish Heart Foundation, the Turkish Society of Cardiology, the Turkish Liver Foundation, the Life Health and Social Services Foundation, the National Pediatrics Association, the Autistic People Care and Training Association, and the Turkish Kidney Foundation, but also civil society organizations from various sectors, including the Istanbul Traffic Foundation, the Consumers Union, the Educators Trade Union, and the Craftsmen and Artisans Association. In addition to the civil organizations, the public bodies like the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Public Health Agency of Turkey, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency, and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) take part in the platform as observers.